"Don't treat Opinion Surveys as fodder for partisan propaganda" says Prof. Gyimah-Boadi
The Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, (CDD-Ghana) Prof. Gyimah-Boadi has observed that competently and professionally conducted opinion surveys can provide objective information for informed policy decision making.
He said without unbiased research on public opinion, anyone can claim that their views and opinions represent those of “the people”, and hence cast their own ideas about Ghanaian attitudes as the gospel truth.
Prof. Gyimah-Boadi who is also the Executive Director of the Afrobarometer, (a comparative public attitude survey currently conducted in 20 African countries) said this at a round table discussion organized by CDD-Ghana on the theme “Ghanaian Politicians and Public Opinion Surveys in Ghana.”
He decried the growing trend in the Fourth Republic where politicians and their supporters tend “to treat public opinion surveys as fodder for partisan propaganda.” He said as a country that aspires to be scientific and industrial, this unfortunate development could retard the country’s progress.
“Those politicians and pundits who are motivated to make loud, but often ill-informed, illiterate and innumerate comments on poll figures, those among them who commission bogus surveys, as well as those who undertake a poll from a purely partisan vantage or material gain inflict needless harm on an enterprise that is vital for injecting the voice of the people in policy making, implementation and evaluation” he noted.
Other speakers at the round table included Prof. Daniel Smith, a Research Fellow at CDD-Ghana and pollster Ben Ephson of the Daily Dispatch newspaper.
It was attended by members from the academia, research organizations, political parties and the media.